Welcome to our webpages which aim to support care providers in managing medicines safely in all social care settings. The information will assist managers to meet the fundamental standards in relation to medicines management.
If you require information or support on medicines management in social care setting please contact the Medicines Management Team at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) The sector regulator. The website is where you can find your latest published CQC report, information on the judgement framework and the latest news from CQC. They also provide
- guidance on meeting the regulations in Guidance for providers on meeting the regulations.
- information on what it looks for when it inspects and monitors services in its Key Lines of Enquiry guidance.
- a series of answers to Frequently Asked Questions about medicines in adult social care.
National Institue for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) produces guidance for social care. including:
- For providers of services for adults in people's own homes Managing medicines for adults receiving social care in the community.
- For providers of care homes Managing medicines in care homes.
The Royal Pharmaceutical Society (RPS) has guidance available The handling of medicines in social care.
FOR NURSES: The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) is the professional regulator for registered nurses. It publishes
- The Code: Professional Standards of Practice and Behaviour for Nurses and Midwives
- Standards for medicines managment.
Central Alerting System (CAS): This service alerts providers to safety information including drug alerts. Providers should ensure they are registered with CAS. Information on how to do this can be found in the CAS Helpsheet for independent health and social care providers.
Electronic Medicines Compendium (eMC) - Patient information leaflets (PILs) for most prescribed medicines can be found on this website. When a medicine is dispensed by a pharmacy or dispensing GP a patient information leaflet should be supplied with it, if one exists. The patient information leaflet should be kept as a reference source for social care staff and service users to refer to.
NHS Choices contains information from the NHS including on health conditions, medicines and social care.
The British National Formulary (BNF) - Online version of this reference source for information on medication.
The internet can be a useful source of information, but you need to be sure that the information is from a reliable source and quality controlled. (Please note: Harrogate and Rural District Clinical Commissioning Group is not responsible for the content of external websites).
Sample safe handling of medicines policies
Click on the documents below to download sample policies which can be used as a resource to assist managers in developing a policy for the safe handling of medicines in their own service.
** The domiciliary care sample policy and proceedure is being updated and is currently unavailable**
Click on the links below for the homely remedies policies agreed with the North Yorkshire Local Medical Committee and the CCGs listed below on behalf of the all their GP practices. They can be adopted by care homes for residents registered with any practice in the listed CCGs:
- Homely remedies policy for care homes
- Homely remedies protocol for the treatment of newly found wounds
- Homely remedies stock record
- Form to record the agreement of staff involved in the administration of homely remedies
If you want any advice on the implementation of a homely remedies policy in your home please contact Karen Lepper at email@example.com.
Click on the document to download the covert administration policy agreed by Harrogate and Rural District CCG, Scarborough and Ryedale CCG, Vale of York CCG and Hambleton, Richmondshire and Whitby CCG
Management of Medicines
Storage of medicines: The safe storage of medicines in care homes is essential. A checklist for the risk assessment for storage of dressings, bland emollients and appliances in a person’s room is available here.
Medicines Administration Record (MAR) Chart.
It is essential in any care setting where medication is administered by staff that a MAR chart is used. The provision of the MAR chart is the responsibility of the care provider (although pharmacies often supply them as a complimentary service). For further information see Good Practice Guidance: Medication Administration Records (MAR) in care homes and domiciliary care.
Care homes in North Yorkshire and York should report incidents involving controlled drugs to the Controlled Drugs Accountable Officer (CDAO) at NHS England using the online reporting tool.
Care homes should register and login to the reporting tool at https://www.cdreporting.co.uk/reporting/
This does not change the requirement to report incidents to CQC/safeguarding/police as appropriate which should still be done.
Transfer of medicines: When a person moves between providers or goes into hospital it is essential that relevant information accompanies them. A form to help ensure all the relevant information is sent is available here and an example of a completed form is available here.
Oxygen: Useful tips on the storage and use of oxygen are available here. Further advice can be obtained from the oxygen supplier.
Safe recording templates
Clear and accurate documentation is a fundamental part of safe medication practice. The following forms can be downloaded and used by care providers. Click on the title to download the document.
Supplementary information (Protocol) about when required and variable dose medication – It is essential that staff administering medication prescribed to be taken ‛when required’ know what the medication is for and under what circumstances it may be appropriate to administer a dose. The supplementary information document can also be used for variable dose medication to indicate when a higher or lower dose should be given. The supplementary information document should be reviewed on a regular basis and/or if the person’s circumstances change. For further information refer to the pharmacy tip: medication prescribed to be taken ‛when required’.
Supplementary Medication Administration Record – As the space on traditional MAR charts is quite limited care providers may find this supplementary record sheet useful as it allows staff to record the time the medicine was administered, the dose and the quantity remaining. If using a supplementary record staff must annotate the main MAR chart with ‛see supplementary sheet’ so all staff record the administration in the same place.
Supplementary sheet for the recording of creams and ointments – Administration of prescribed creams/ointments must be recorded. In some circumstances it may be appropriate to use separate documentation to record the administration. In care homes this may be kept in the person’s room. If using a supplementary record staff must annotate the main MAR chart with ‛see supplementary sheet’ so all staff record the administration in the same place. For further information refer to the pharmacy tip: administration and recording of creams and nutritional supplements
Supplementary sheet for the recording of nutritional supplements – The administration of nutritional supplements such as Fortisip and Ensure must be recorded. In some circumstances it may be appropriate to use separate documentation to record the administration. If using a supplementary record staff must annotate the main MAR chart with ‛see supplementary sheet’ so all staff record the administration in the same place.
Medicines Refrigerator – Temperature Recording Chart – In care homes the maximum and minimum temperature of the fridge should be recorded daily. Staff must ensure that they always reset the thermometer once the reading has been taken. If the fridge temperature is outside of the required range then action must be taken.
Recording of medicines taken on short periods away from the home – Care homes must be able to account for all the medication for which they are responsible. This form can be used to document medication which the person takes with them for periods away from the home, for example, weekend visits to family.
It is the responsibility of managers to assess the competency of staff before they are allowed to administer medication – competency assessment tools to support this are available below.
1.• Competency assessment tool for staff working in care homes
2.• Competency assessment tool for domiciliary care staff
Information is also available through your local Clincal Commisioning Group websites.
For further information or queries please email firstname.lastname@example.org